Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Heritage Day in South Africa

Everyone is having a day of today, because September 24 is a Public Holiday on which South Africans across the spectrum are encouraged to celebrate their cultural heritage and the diversity of their beliefs and traditions, in the wider context of a nation that belongs to all its people. Formerly they used to call it: National Braai Day. (braai stands for BBQ)

In an address marking Heritage Day in 1996, (former) President Mandela stated:

"When our first democratically-elected government decided to make Heritage Day one of our national days, we did so because we knew that our rich and varied cultural heritage has a profound power to help build our new nation.

We did so knowing that the struggles against the injustice and inequities of the past are part of our national identity; they are part of our culture. We knew that, if indeed our nation has to rise like the proverbial phoenix from the ashes of division and conflict, we had to acknowledge those whose selfless efforts and talents were dedicated to this goal of non-racial democracy."

This year’s theme is “Celebrating Our Dance, Our Heritage.” Dance is a prime means of artistic expression, expanding and exploring new territory.

This year’s Heritage Day celebrations will be an expression of pride in multi-cultural dance; it will promote indigenous dance, and encourage new dancers, especially among the youth.

Since our girls are at an American International school, they don't have a day off, but are celebrating International Day and all the kids will wear there traditional clothing from their mother country and have a parade at school, so that's what we are off to this afternoon. On Friday all the children will represent their country and show pictures and items about their culture and heritage and serve food from each country. Fun, fun, fun!

PS: more about the safari tomorrow! I couldn't pass on Heritage day today!
Have a lovely day,


Emm said...

We never called it National Braai Day!!!

Mireille said...

I really didn't make up this myself, found it online at

Emm said...

:0) Well, that site is current, listing 24 Sept 2008. I think it was an attempt at creating spirit and a sense of togetherness but it's more an example of South African humour than a reference to an actual event.
I didn't mean to offend you or be rude. I enjoy your blog and just wanted to stop by and say hi and give my 2 cents worth.


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